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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES cruises through G to L in his 'Modern A-Z of Wine' and I is for Italy with a suggestion to try the 'sensational, top-flight' 2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Ca'del Pipa, Veneto (15.99; Majestic). Wow of the Week falls in L's favour and Jukes goes for a liqueur: De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat South-Eastern Australia (9.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Picnics are the meal of choice for JAMIE GOODE this week, and he's keen for his readers to chuck a few good bottles into the basket with the food.

After all, If you've taken time and trouble over the food, why skimp on the quality of your wine.'

Potential picnic-goers include 2005 Tesco Finest Beaujolais Villages, France (4.99; Tesco).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new-look International Wine Challenge (IWC) gets the thumbs up from RICHARD EHRLICH, whose experience with competitions means he thinks he's moderately well qualified to state that when they're well run, they are a largely reliable guide to quality in the bottle'.

This year's changes within the top management and judging panel has resulted in some worthy medals, says Ehrlich, not least because he has already recommended a few of them in the past.

And even if he hasn't, there are many others I would have guessed at'. This week's wine recommendations include 2005 Anakena Chardonnay/Viognier (4.99; Co-op).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

World Cup fever is already in the air for MATTHEW JUKES as he looks back to 1966 and reveals that England's year of glory on the football pitch was a pretty good vintage for wine as well.

Long before the New World's gems started appearing on our shores, Europe's finest wine regions had a wonderful harvest.'

For readers who would rather not fork out hundreds of pounds on the increasingly rare bottled proof of this declaration, Jukes recommends a few more recent examples of fine French wine.

These include 2001 Vosne-Romane, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Burgundy (22.35; Haynes, Hanson & Clark).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Buying a wine in the best possible condition means buying it in a coloured bottle, says JOANNA SIMON.

This proves to be a problem if you're after ros, however, considering that most producers would prefer to show off the pretty pink colours rather than pay attention to a shield against light.

Marks and Spencer is the only retailer to throw caution to the wind with a green ros bottle, and Simon recommends 2005 Bourgogne Ros (8.99; Marks and Spencer).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW investigates the worthiness, or otherwise, of 1998 Bordeaux: 'A vintage that was famously much more successful in St- Emilion, Pomerol and Graves than in the Mdoc.' The most expensive bottle to be put to the test (blind), is Chteau Ptrus, at more than 1,000 a bottle, which Robinson 'liked' but 'no more than a wine that was being sold for 35.'

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

The 2001 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino escaped frost annihilation by the skin of its teeth, and JANCIS ROBINSON MW tasted the results.

She has been slightly disappointed by this classic Italian wine in recent years due to certain producers' tendencies towards a more global style, and this vintage is no different: I'd say a good third of the Brunello di Montalcino 2001 bottlings tasted closer to an archetype of modern red wine than to anything even particularly Tuscan, which seems a shame.'

Guilty producers included La Fornace and Podere Bellarina, while Carparzo and Fuligni were among the traditionalists.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Shiraz has hit Chile and ANTHONY ROSE can't get over the impact.

The progress of wine styles based on the Rhne Valley's Syrah grape has been nothing short of phenomenal.'

Chile's grape-friendly climate has presented the potential for plenty of different styles, ranging from the sumptuous, blackberryish' 2004 Alta Tierra Elqui Valley Syrah (7.49; Laithwaites) to the vivid, accessible' 2005 Torren de Paredes Syrah Reserve Rengo, Cachapoal Valley (7.99; Forth Wines).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

A dodgy early experience with gin has led to JONATHAN RAY having an uneasy relationship with the stuff'.

On the other hand, his wife loves it and he keeps hearing that it's the new in' thing.

To bring himself up to date, he pays a visit to the Hendrick's distillery and finds himself developing a taste' for the quirky gin from William Grant & Sons.

This revelation soon leads to a proper home-made tasting session with 15 friends and 12 gins. Gin of the evening (and my favourite) is Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength (29.99; Harrods, Selfridges),' Ray concludes.

Prize for the most alcoholic option goes to Blackwood's 60 Superior Vintage Dry Gin, 60% abv (24.99; Harvey Nichols and independents).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's the second instalment of the Grard Depardieu-inspired, French special for MATTHEW JUKES this week, and his selection of regional whites shows 'why France still sits at the top of the world's fine-wine league'. This week's particular 'wow' is 2004 Chteau Tour Lognan Pessac-Lognan, Bordeaux (9.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

If there's one aspect of French culture that we find almost impossible to resist, it's their world-class food and wine,' says JAMIE GOODE.

French wine went through bit of a down period a few years ago, becoming the source of wine lake plonk' but there's plenty of value for money available now, such as the beautifully fruity 2004 Stone Road Shiraz, Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.49; Co-op).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

While Spanish whites have previously been considered a little second class by the Spaniards, JOANNA SIMON reports that changes are afoot.

Whites made from the Albario grape in Ras Baixas are now ultra-fashionable, and Rueda's Sauvignon-like Verdejo is coming up fast at comfortingly reasonable prices.'

Other more obscure options can also be worth a try, and these include 2004 Gaba do Xil Godello (6.99; Adnams).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine consumption might be down in France and Australia but it's up in the UK and the US, reports RICHARD EHRLICH.

In the latter two countries, there seems to be no shortage of money sloshing around for the right stuff', he expains.

As far as spending this money goes, the recent vintage from Bordeaux is a good bet and Ehrlich suggests taking a trip to Lea and Sandeman for some expert advice.

For those who want to drink their reds now, he recommends 2004 El Dueo Shiraz (4.99; Marks & Spencer).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Domaine de Chevalier in Bordeaux was sold to the Bernard family in 1982, and JANCIS ROBINSON MW wonders why 'it has failed to maintain its leadership' in recent years. One of the major reasons, she says, is 'its high proportion of young vines', which were planted under the new ownership. But the new vines are growing older, and, according to Robinson, 1996 is the turning point: from then on, 'the wines seemed to get better and better, particularly in 2001, 2003 and 2004.'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES celebrates Spain and says that there are better Spanish wines on the shelves today than ever before'. He's picked out his top selection from this year, including 2004/5 Torres Via Esmeralda, Peneds (4.66-6.29; Oddbins, Tesco, Waitrose, Wine Rack): The value for money and crowd-pleasing aroma and flavour of Esmeralda is staggering.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sushi and sashimi are now as popular with the snack-food crowd as with the set that valet park their Maseratis at Nobu,' observes ANTHONY ROSE.

London now has more than 160 Japanese-style restaurants, he continues, and with this advent of new cuisine, the issue of wine matching has also been addressed. Alessandro Marchesan, sommelier at Zuma, has done the research and he shares some of his findings with Rose.

His suggestions include trying a New Zealand Riesling with a dish such as yellowtail with green chilli relish with a ponza (bitter orange and soy) sauce, or a spicy Aussie Shiraz with rich meats like miso-marinated lamb. Matching Japanese food to Western wines can be a playground for the adventurous,' concludes Rose.

His top wine for splashing out on is 2004 de Bortoli Yarra Valley Reserve Shiraz (19.99; Oddbins Fine Wine).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY has made up her mind and Riesling can breathe a sigh of relief. For the perfect summer drink, Chardonnay might be a bit too Dolly Parton' and Sauvignon Blanc doesn't suit everyone, but Riesling perfectly echoes the season's produce'.

Many people have been put off Germany's star variety over the years, says MacQuitty, due to the cloying, ersatz wines that washed up here in the Sixties and Seventies', so it's still possible to find a number of bargains.

Newcomers should start with 2004 Bird Label Riesling, Lingenfelder (6.19; Oddbins), or for German sceptics, she suggests 2005 Private Bin Villa Maria, Marlborough Riesling (6.99; Waitrose, Majestic).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'When I started writing about wine 30 years ago, there was one wine that truly enjoyed iconic status: Hermitage La Chapelle 1961,' says Jancis Robinson MW. As readers of Harpers will know, the producer of La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet An in the northern Rhne, was sold to Swiss financier Jean-Jacques Frey last week. 'This is great news for wine enthusiasts because Frey has an excellent track record of upgrading properties such as the classed-growth Chteau La Lagune in the Haut-Mdoc.'

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

South African wines have never really been JONATHAN RAY's thing - I've usually found that the reds taste of burnt rubber and the whites of acid drops.'

A visit to Stellenbosch, however, prompts a change of view and Chenin Blanc is the first grape to make an impression. I'm on my second glass of 2005 Raats Wooded Chenin Blanc and I'm loving every drop.'

A Pinotage dinner is next on the itinerary and Ray is unenthused about the prospect of spending the evening with his least favourite of all red grapes'. But he's pleasantly surprised once again, saying: I am completely won over. Pinotage is South Africa's USP.'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME plays sommelier and suggests trying a bottle of 2004 Tesco Finest Muscadet (4.99) with avodaco and tomato mayonnaise or a touch of 2004 Errazuriz Merlot (5.99; Tesco) with Chilean steak served with pimientos and green olives.

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